An oil rig roughneck, as the name suggests, is a person who is employed in oil rigs to do manual and physical labour. Another name that is used for a roughneck is roustabout. It also needs to be noted that the term roughneck is also assigned to people of other professions who work very hard physically. But the term’s main usage is for oil rigs in the high sea areas.
Roughneck jobs generally involve a person working in oil rigs in the lowermost job level like ensuring that the concentration of mud required to be poured into the pipes. The oil rig roughneck who works in this position is known as the derrick-hand. There are roughnecks who work as motormen as well. Their main role and responsibility is to ensure that all the parts and equipments work smoothly without slightest problem. Certain roughnecks also take up the position of painting and cleaning the entire oil rig.
In the olden days, roughneck jobs also included being a boiler man i.e. someone who was in-charge of the boiler room to do the laundry of other people working in the oil rig. But as modernisation and technological advancements took place, this position was scrapped and now there exist no more roughnecks who are required to work as boiler men.
It needs to be noted that the duties of a roughneck might vary from oil rig to oil rig but the presence of roughnecks in oil rigs is something that can never be avoided. They are vital components to the smooth running of an oil drilling process and their duties should not be treated as underhanded or derogatory as compared to the other professionals working in the rig.
The pay of roughneck is not as high as compared to the amount of work and hard work they do. On top of that the nature of the oil rigs roughneck job is quite unpredictable. He has to keep odd hours making it important for him to be constantly vigilant lest any accident happens because of his negligence.
Another important reason why roughnecks are important is from the point of view of the company engaging in the oil drilling procedure. Working in oceanic areas is always risky and when it comes to oil rigs the risks multiply even further. The presence of an oil rig roughneck ensures that the skilled professionals are able to take care of the technical work while the roughnecks take care of the menial work. This leads to stability in the work atmosphere, leading to a better and faster output for the company and its clients.
In order to make equipments or an organisation run effectively, all the parts and people involved must be completely involved and dedicated. Roughnecks are those people who fit in both categories – as a part of equipments (oil rigs) and an organisation (oil drilling company) making them absolutely priceless and invaluable.
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